September 21, 2020
The purpose of this email is to explain the protocols the school district follows and to answer some common questions you may have regarding how we communicate should an individual in our school community be confirmed with COVID-19. Please be aware that the school district acts under the guidance of the Ministries of Health and Education in relation to the management of illness and confirmed cases, and the communication protocols we follow. Regional Health Authorities post school exposure information online. Please visit Vancouver Coastal Health or the BC Centre for Disease Control to access this information.
Current protocol following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our school community:
- Vancouver Coastal Health initiates contact tracing to determine how the individual was infected and who they were in close contact with.
- Vancouver Coastal Health identifies and notifies close contacts who may be at an increased risk, and advises them to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
- Only Vancouver Coastal Health can determine who is a close contact. Learning groups, friends or other connections may not be determined to be a close contact.
- Vancouver Coastal Health staff works closely with the school and school district throughout the case and contact management process to maintain close communication with the school community.
The key point for families to remember is that Vancouver Coastal Health will connect directly with any individuals who may have been exposed with further instructions via phone or letter. If you are contacted by Vancouver Coastal Health, please follow their advice carefully.
Frequently asked questions
- What happens if there is a confirmed case at aschool?
Vancouver Coastal Health will initiate contact tracing to identify any individuals that need to self-isolate or self-monitor for symptoms. If you are contacted by Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, please follow their advice carefully.
- Do staff or students need to stay home and self-isolate?
If you do not receive a phone call or letter from Vancouver Coastal Health, your child should continue to attend school. As a reminder, please continue daily health checks to monitor your child for COVID-19 symptoms. If you have any health questions or concerns, we encourage you to call 811.
- What are you doing to ensure staff and students’ safety?
The safety and well-being of our staff, students and families remains our highest priority. Please be reassured that our school will continue to implement the strict protocols and procedures we have in place so that staff and students can continue to attend school as safely as possible.
All schools in our district are strictly following the provincial health and safety guidelines, and we will continue to work with public health officials to determine if any other actions are necessary. More information on our health and safety plan can be found on our website: https://sd46.bc.ca/families-and-students/education-during-covid-19-pandemic-resources-supports/.
- Can you provide more information on confirmed cases?
For privacy reasons, we are not able to provide health information on any individuals.
- What happens if there is a rumour of a COVID case at the school?
We understand there may be rumours in the community regarding potential COVID cases. Please rest assured that if a member of the school community were to test positive for COVID-19, Vancouver Coastal Health would follow up directly with any individuals who may have been exposed. We are committed to open and transparent communication with our staff and families. We will work with Vancouver Coastal Health to share information on COVID-19 exposures at our district site and those it may impact. As mentioned, school exposure information will also be posted online via Vancouver Coastal Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control.
If you have additional questions, please reach out to your school principal. In the meantime, please encourage your child to continue with their efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by:
- Practicing physical distancing
- Washing their hands often with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60%alcohol)
- Coughing and sneezing into a tissue or the bend of their arm
- Wearing a mask when needed
- Avoiding touching their face
- Not sharing food
- Most importantly, staying at home if they have symptoms
Also, this Thursday, September 24th, at 4 pm, School District 46 and Vancouver Coastal Health will be hosting a Town Hall Q&A ZOOM Webinar. Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86227421510?pwd=UUVJK29RUDFRMDBrNWxCbUlnbmRMUT09 (Webinar ID: 862 2742 1510 / Passcode: SD46VCH)
We appreciate your ongoing understanding and support. Stay healthy!
Superintendent of Schools